Soaking up, catching on

I ran out of rice paste working on a long piece of my minnows and mussels pattern with 2 repeats to go. With each experience like this I refine my understanding of the amount I need to make. Nevertheless I decided to go ahead and dye the work. I tend to make my rice paste a bit too thick/dry, and along with this, the paste was cracking a bit. This is not something I want generally, but you could encourage cracking on purpose and make it work as in batik. There are a couple of additives that can help prevent cracking -- salt is one, glycerin is the other (either/or). I dissolved a bit of salt in water for this batch, which is supposed to help the paste hang onto humidity. As it is still winter here, the air is quite dry. More water and more salt next time. I really enjoy how a fresh layer of wet dye shows up the contrast in the pattern. It makes me anticipate the final wash-out. This photo shows the 2nd of 3 layers of pigment dye in progress. The ochre+rust I used to make orange is at this point the same value as the rice paste. The indigo is just that -- oxidized indigo pigment from an indigo vat.

 dyeing 2nd layer on minnows and mussels

dyeing 2nd layer on minnows and mussels